Saturday 19th March – The Election
I sat at home continuing to follow the “don’t do anything in case you die” protocol from having my tooth extracted. It seems to hurt slightly more than before, which is a bit worrying. Still nowhere near as much as the lower wisdom tooth though.
There was an election. It wasn’t democratic and the wrong people won. I’ve been told from people on the ground that the people voting had no idea what they were doing, but felt obliged to do it anyway. You wouldn’t take your car to a public square and mandate that that anyone standing around have a go at fixing it, or publish a guide to dentistry on some boring website then force everyone to have a go pulling teeth, so why do we have compulsory voting? The stupidity of it is mind-boggling, and deeply depressing.
I received an SMS from “Team Quirk” (the LNP) which made me very angry as it was a blatant attempt to appear like official advice, and I’m also not sure how they got my number. I complained to the ECQ but they advised me that “On the face of the information supplied there is no apparent breach of the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 (Qld).”
Then, in case it wasn’t obvious they were incompetent, they also advised me look into using the Do Not Call register—which has exclusions for “public interest groups” (i.e. political parties, that place that saves dogs, and that annoying medical research fund) and, as they themselves clearly say on their website, “the Do Not Call legislation does not apply to emails or SMS messages.”
I attempted to contact “Team Quirk”, but did not receive any response. I will need to take it up with them later.
Many people also contacted ACMA, who advised “the ACMA has been alerted to an increase in recorded political announcements calls and texts which urge recipients to vote for a candidate in an upcoming election. While these calls or texts can be frustrating to receive, they are not covered by the Spam Act 2003 or Do Not Call Register Act 2006 as they do not have a commercial purpose. Calls or texts that do not include an offer to supply or provide a good or service are not considered telemarketing calls or commercial electronic messages under the legislation and are therefore permitted.
The election advertising blackout period set out in clause 3A of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 only applies to ‘elections to a Parliament’. Local government elections do not fall within this definition, therefore a blackout period did not apply to the recent local government election in Brisbane. Further, the blackout provision applies only to radio and television broadcasters and not SMS advertising.”
Then, at the local school where all the people were busy queuing like sheep to vote for the wrong person in some kind of misguided belief that this was democratic, the ALP had put up piles of posters advising people to “remember to number every square”, using the ECQ shade of purple in an obvious attempt to make it look like official, impartial election advice. What’s the point of having the ECQ, media blackout laws, etc. if no one bothers enforcing them and those with money can just do whatever they want?
Needless to say, I was very angry.
Sunday 20th March – The Toll Tunnel
I slept all morning, not waking up until the afternoon.
Palm Sunday Rally
Bronwen and I drove into town and just managed to catch the end of the Palm Sunday Rally to Stop the War on Refugees.
After the rally we headed to Suitcase Rummage where Bronwen bought a couple of things.
Slacklining in New Farm Park
Having run out of things to buy at the Suitcase Rummage we continued on to New Farm Park where we bought some chips and watched the slackliners.
The Toll Tunnel
We’d planned to spend more time there but my sister’s flight was running early so we rushed to the airport… only to find that she didn’t get off the flight. I parked at the Kingsford Smith memorial and Bronwen walked across to the international terminal to chat to them, but they weren’t at all useful, so eventually I phoned my sister—who answered sleepily from London. Apparently as she was checking in to board her plane Micah had had a sniffle or coughed or something and someone asked if he was sick and my sister said she thought he might be coming down with a cold—and they immediately prohibited her from flying until she had a doctor’s certificate stating he was ok to fly. So don’t ever say you are sick if you are trying to fly anywhere!
Then, to make things even worse, I accidentally drove through the toll tunnel on the way home—because it has about eighteen large lanes that automatically go into it, and only a small goat track hidden off to the side which avoids it.
Needless to say, I was very angry.